FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Bronislaw E. Grala

Bronislaw E. Grala

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Senior Counsel
Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA


Before his retirement in September of 2014, Broni Grala's practice primarily related to ERISA and similar employee benefit matters. He has unusually broad experience in the area of ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and obligations, and the tax and ERISA implications of various plan investments and investment formats. This experience is primarily a function of Broni serving as ERISA counsel to third-party plan asset managers, broker-dealers, and investment bankers who provide services or investment products to employee benefit plans.

Broni counseled and advised plan asset managers on their fiduciary responsibilities, prepared investment policies and procedures for plan asset managers, and helped design investment products targeted for plans, both "tangible" products such as new securities and real estate ventures, and investment strategies. Working with others at Cadwalader, he helped structure venture capital operating companies, real estate operating companies, commodity pools, hedge funds, farmland programs, and other investment vehicles to attract ERISA investors. Broni had extensive experience in dealings with the Employee Benefits Security Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Among other services to clients, he successfully obtained numerous DOL advisory opinions and prohibited transaction exemptions and was one of a small number of attorneys responsible for obtaining the initial ERISA relief to allow funds to purchase private label residential mortgage pass-through certificates. Shortly thereafter, he helped obtain broad relief from ERISA regulations for Freddie Mac's mortgage securitization program. Broni was among those responsible for obtaining the first ERISA exemptions for the sale of asset-backed securities to ERISA plans, he helped obtain the first exemptions specifically designed for securitized credit card receivables, and he has worked on DOL exemptions involving securities lending, notional principal ("swaps") contracts, innovative option products, and many other investment products and practices.

With 40 plus years of pension experience, Broni is an expert in ERISA and related pension law. He was named 2012 Lawyer of the Year for New York City Employee Benefits (ERISA) by Best Lawyers - only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is so honored. He is listed in Tier 1 of Chambers USA America's Leading Business Lawyers, was chosen by Super Lawyers as a leading attorney in Employee Benefits / ERISA, was cited by his peers as one of the "World's Leading Labor and Employment Lawyers" (Euromoney Publications), and selected to Best Lawyers In America each year for more than 10 years.  In 2000, upon its founding, Broni was selected as a Charter Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

A frequent speaker at professional and business conferences, Broni has addressed a wide range of topics of interest to employee benefit plan investors and vendors to plans. He has appeared at seminars sponsored by, among others, the Practising Law Institute, Institutional Investor, the Securities Industry Association, and the annual Chicago-Kent College of Law Financial Services Law Institute. Among his publications are: "Employee Plan Trading in Commodity Futures', with Thomas A. Russo and Stephen G. Bachelder, 37 Wash. & Lee Law Review 811 (1980); "Pension Plan Trading in Commodity Futures", with Sheila S. Bassman, December 1982 Commodities Law Letter; "Exchange-Traded Options & Futures Trading Under the Revised New York State Insurance Law', with John W. Osborn, September 1983 Commodities Law Letter; "Hedging with Options and Commodity Futures Under the Revised New York State Insurance Law', with John W. Osborn, 16 Connecticut Law Review 477 (1984); "Pension Plan Trading in Commodity Futures: A Status Report", with Deborah Packer, September 1986 Commodities Law Letter; "Pension Plan Trading in Commodity Futures: Current Issues 1989", with David S. Mitchell and Deborah Packer, April 1989 Commodities Law Letter; and "Pension Plan Trading in Commodity Futures and Off-Exchange Instruments: Select Current ERISA and Tax Issues", with Joseph F. Esposito, MarchiApril 1991 Commodities Law Letter. Broni has authored numerous Practising Law Institute articles on a number of ERISA investment topics and served on editorial boards of professional journals.

Broni graduated cum laude from Fordham College and earned his J.D. at New York University School of Law, cum laude, where he was an editor of the NYU Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a Founder's Day Scholar. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Broni is a member of the New York State Bar Association (Section on Taxation), the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and as mentioned above, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.
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